PETALING JAYA, Oct 20 — A senior staff writer at The New Yorker has apologised after reports emerged that he had masturbated on camera during a recent Zoom work call.
Jeffrey Toobin, who is also a legal analyst at CNN, told VICE’s online magazine Motherboard that he had made an “embarrassingly stupid mistake” and that he was not aware that his mic and camera were on.
“I made an embarrassingly stupid mistake, believing I was off-camera. I apologise to my wife, family, friends, and co-workers.
“I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video,” said Toobin.
The incident reportedly occurred during an election simulation over Zoom that involved Toobin and other prominent writers from The New Yorker.
Two people who were on the call anonymously told VICE that Toobin looked like he was taking a second video call when participants in the election simulation went into separate breakout rooms for discussions.
When everyone returned from the breakout rooms, the sources said Toobin lowered his camera and began touching his penis.
Toobin then left the meeting but called back in moments later and appeared unaware that he had exposed himself to his colleagues, and the simulation continued.
The 60-year-old has since been suspended from his position at The New Yorker magazine, where he had worked for over 25 years, while the company conducts an internal investigation.
CNN also issued a statement saying that they have granted Toobin time off to “deal with a personal matter.”